• Descendents of the Jeonju Lee family perform rites to honor their ancestors in an annual ceremony in Seoul, Korea.

    Korean ceremony

    Descendents of the Jeonju Lee family perform rites to honor their ancestors in an annual ceremony in Seoul, Korea.

  • Deoksu Palace is one of many historical sites in Seoul worth touring.

    Deoksu Palace

    Deoksu Palace is one of many historical sites in Seoul worth touring.

YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - "Welcome to Korea" is what many newcomers have heard multiple times in multiple renditions over the past few weeks. "But really," you might be asking yourselves, "I'm here, I've been welcomed, now what' Where do I start' Korea is going to be so hard to get accustomed to."

While you're staying in temporary quarters or if you were lucky to already be moved into your new home waiting delivery of household goods, take some time to explore your new community.

Seoul is one of the largest cities in the world. USAG-Yongsan is smack-dab-in-the-middle of this vivacious city. Use your time "in limbo" waiting for the school year to begin or the household items to arrive and be unpacked, to treat yourself and your family to an adventure.

Looking for a few ideas on and off the Garrison' Look no further. Why don't you take the ACS Seoul Secrets: Transportation 101 Class and learn to ride the subways and buses'

Go outside Gate 10 (the gate is below the overpass bridge on the South Post side) and take the Seoul City Bus Tour. The tour costs 10,000 won and you have your own personal door-side drop off at many of the historical and cultural sights of Seoul. Visit one of the Korean palaces or temples in Seoul.

Learn why you and your family are stationed here by visiting the Korean War Museum.

Why don't you relax one Sunday and get your bearings on USAG-Yongsan by attending one of many Sunday fellowship programs followed by Sunday Brunch at Dragon Hill Lodge or the Hartell House' Afterwards take a "walk-a-bout" in Itaewon and explore the fusion of Asian and Western cultures.

Play miniature golf; go bowling; hit the driving range and work a little stress relief into your weekend. Take a fitness class at one of the gyms. Ride a rental bike along the Han River. Swim in one of the three USAG-Yongsan community pools. Realize that moving is hard physically, mentally and emotionally on the entire family; movement helps relieve stress.

Enroll in the free ACS Korean Language Class and learn to read all the signs around you. Discover and learn about Korean culture and civilization by going on a MWR, BOSS or USO tour.

Eat in a KATUSA snack bar for a little flavor of Korean cuisine offered in a setting comfortable to most newly arrived Americans. Walk or take the cable car to the top of Namsan and up Seoul Tower for an overview of the city and see the vastness of the city.

Do you want your children to feel at home in their new community a little faster' Enroll them in Child and Youth Services so that they can go to the Child Development Center hourly care, summer camp, the Middle School/Teen Center, participate in youth sports and SkiesUnlimited. They will quickly meet and make new friends.

Take your children to the Children's Museum or to a local water park. Attend an ACS Playgroup for children birth to 5. Child-based activities will begin to connect your children to their new home.

Need a little pampering because that lengthy flight over the Pacific just took it out of you' Get a massage at one of the three salons on post. Okay, just do a day of beauty to include manicure, pedicure, facial, hair wash, cut, and blow-out. And please, don't you think I'm speaking only to women. There are seven barber shops on post that cater salon pampering to the male population as well.

Finally, get involved in your community and watch the time stationed here fly by. Join a club (USAG-Yongsan has 79 registered private organizations).

Sign up to volunteer and get involved in USAG-Yongsan at www.myarmylifetoo.com. Search more than 350 opportunities to help, serve and contribute to what makes our community one of the best in the Army, or give back by picking up some items at the Thrift Store or Chosun Gift Shop.

So there you have it: 20 things to do while you're in Seoul. Never underestimate the time you have here. Explore, learn and live life to its fullest. Think of yourself as one of the luckiest people in the world.

You're living in Asia exploring a new culture with the convenience and comfort of American services, education and goods. Before you know it, you and your family will be in the "groove" at Yongsan and it'll be time to move again. Then you'll say to yourself, "How are we ever going to adjust to..."

Page last updated Thu October 2nd, 2014 at 07:42